Video Games and Difficulty

By Kyle S. - Tue Mar 22, 5:10 pm

What we have to remember though, is that time consuming does not mean hard. It’s tedious. Or if you want to put it another way, it takes dedication but it isn’t genuinely difficult at all, which is what most people have problems differentiating. Most video games aren’t that diffucult at all if you have basic problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination. As a child, yours aren’t fully developed yet, so the games seemed more challanging in these cases. Video games have traditionally always been doable by kids, and that trend continues. If you want a challenge from a video game, up the difficulty as you please.

I still maintain the real problem is save states, checkpoints, and unlimited lives. The reason I had a harder time with games as a kid was because I’d either have to shut them off before bed and restart it at a later time, or I’d run out of lives and/or continues and have to start over. When you can always pick up at a checkpoint just a couple minutes back it is pretty much a guarantee you’ll ace almost any game with a little determination. An example of this is Gunstar Heroes. As a kid playing on Sega Genesis, I could never make any real progress. Recently, I downloaded the Xbox Live Arcade version that includes save states, and I was able to beat the game in a matter of a couple of days.

The games themselves got easier through technical innovation (saves, memory cards), doing away with certain gameplay mechanics (lives), and just not being made around the idea that a machine needs to eat your quarters. It’s not always the games themselves though. You got experience and subconsciously memorized all the game play cliches, and your problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination have improved over time. Go put in Super Mario Bros. and compare your progress now to when you were a kid. Go on.

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